In Uganda, a meeting hall with open windows and doors is known by many names and dialects; tukulu (Ngakarimojong), and ot aperu (Luo) to name a few. This is an ancient, iconic structure, usually constructed in a round shape, but it can be shaped differently. The purpose and ambience of the building is more important than its shape.
In Uganda, the International Organization for Migration came up with the idea of using environmentally-friendly construction methods that use locally available materials.
The materials we allowed ourselves to use included as follows:
Earth (lobo); Polypropylene bags (kicaa), exactly the same type used for packaging food-aid in Uganda – 18”x30” – they’re locally available (!); Clay soil (lobo agulu); Gravel (kotokoto); Sand (kweyo); Grass (lum); Poles (kwori); Sisal cord (tol); Bamboo strip (tadi); and Dung (cyet dyang).
Other materials not locally available included as follows:
Barbed wire (chengenge); Cement (cementi); Lime; Timber (bao); Twisted rebar (adit); Chicken mesh; Stirrups; Binding wire; and Nylon cord.
Equipment / tools required include as follows:
Hammers (nyono); Wheelbarrow (gadi gadi); Tampers; Metal sliders; Nails (cumaa);
Saw; Snips; Pliers; Pail/bucket (baket); Pick axe; Hoes (kweri); Spade (atok); Needles (libira lakwo kicaa); and Axe (lato).
Doing a simple test of the methods and tools is a really handy way of avoiding high costs later on when you are constructing something more ambitious. We gained invaluable lessons through the construction of a rudimentary fuel bunker.
If you want more information about our work and upcoming earthbag projects, please contact:
James Bean, Programme Coordinator
International Organization for Migration
Abim, Karamoja region, Kampala, Uganda